Journey of the Sperm

Journey of the Sperm

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  • Vagina
  • It's time to go! Stay away from any acids to survive.
  • Cervix 
  • Watch out! Be careful!
  • Still, stay away from the acids and try not to get lost in any passageways.   
  • Uterus
  • Oh no, white blood cells!   
  • Find the right tube!
  • About 250 million sperm enter the vagina at a time. Most of them die within thirty minutes through. The sperm is killed by the deadly acids that protect the vagina from pathogens.
  • Fallopian Tubes
  • This is like heaven.
  • The remaining sperm has to go through the cervix, which is at the end of the vagina. It is usually plugged shut with mucus to fight against pathogens. During ovulation, estrogen flows from the ovary to the uterus, and softens the mucus so that the sperm can travel through. The sperm swims in a single line in the cervical canal. Most wll die from getting stuck or lost in one of the many passageways.
  • Fertilization
  • I found it, I won!
  • The limited amount of sperm that is left, travels through the uterus into the Fallopian tube. Muscular contraction will help push the sperm into the right Fallopian tube, which is on the side with the egg. They are attacked by the Leukocytes, or the white blood cell army. The sperm that remains from this journey searches for the doorway to the Fallopian tube. 
  • Implantation
  • The journey has ended and we'll find the gender of the baby soon.
  •  The sperm goes through the Uterotubal junction, and must show the right swimming characteristics and molecular identification to pass through it. After going through the Uterotubal junction, about ten to thirty sperm remain. Once they're inside the Fallopian tube, they're safe from Leukocytes. The sperm are provide with nourishment from the Fallopian tube so that they can stay alive fir many hours or days. 
  • Thank God we're still alive, and shed at the right time. It's sad that the others died because they didn't shed fast enough.  
  • The remaining sperm has to try to find the egg at the upper end of the Fallopian tube. The egg releases chemicals that the sperm can sense and move faster. One of the sperm makes contact with the outer coat of the egg and has a bag of enzymes on its head that'll explode, allowing it to penetrate the outer coat of the egg. Once the sperm is inside, meiosis occurs. This is when genetic payload is delivered and the 23 chromosomes of the sperm and the egg pair up. The sprem determines the gender of the baby, an "x" for a girl, or a "y" for a boy. 
  • Look out for the egg!
  • Ugh, now he gets to do the meiosis...
  • The zygote travels down the Fallopian tubes towards the uterus, and the cells begin dividing. On day for, the bundle of cells in a blastocyst. Five days later, the embryo breaks out of the protective shell and implants in the wall of the uterus and begins growing. 
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